Rockefeller and Hutchison Introduce Bipartisan Public Safety Communications Bill

September 22, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and Ranking Member, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, issued the following statement today after introducing legislation that would extend the Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) grant program.  The PSIC grant program provides funding for state projects that arm public safety personnel with interoperable communications equipment and the necessary training for system users.  Grantees of federal funding need this extension of funds in order to deploy planned communications projects that will improve the response of public safety personnel in the event of an emergency.
“The devastation of the attacks on September 11th and Hurricane Katrina will forever remind us all of the courage and tireless dedication of this nation’s first responders and public safety personnel,” Chairman Rockefeller said.  “We must always do everything we can to continue our commitment to public safety and providing resources for those who do all they can to keep us safe.  It is critical that all first responders have the necessary first class communications resources to react quickly and effectively to any emergency.  I introduce this bill today to do just that.  States should be granted the time and funds necessary to update public safety communications systems and make certain communities all across America are secure.”
“It is vital that we provide America’s first responders with the tools they need to keep us safe, and this extension will provide them with the flexibility to complete this communications upgrade.  One of the most important goals of the DTV transition was to boost the interoperable emergency communications for America’s public safety community, this legislation will help make that possible,” said Senator Hutchison.